When I first discovered instant oatmeal, I loved that I could just add hot water to a packet, give a quick stir, and presto! Breakfast. I didn't care back then about sugar grams; I just cared how stuff tasted. And that oatmeal tasted really, really good.
But there was a catch. I couldn't justify buying multiple boxes, so I'd get the variety pack, and every morning I'd have to choose. Would I opt for the maple/brown sugar or the apple/cinnamon? Or, OR, would I delay gratification and suffer through the raisin spice or, god forbid, the plain? I'd see the plain pack looking scrunched and pathetic in the box and wonder why? Why? WHY? Does anyone who buys the variety pack actually want the plain? Crave the plain? Look forward to the plain? Do they wake up, pour themselves a glass of OJ, and say, "Hmmm, I think I'm really jonesing for the plain packet today."
No. They don't.
Well, I've grown up, at least when it comes to oatmeal. I now stick to traditional Quaker oats or the Irish steel cut kind. I sweeten and spice it any number of ways, depending on my mood and level of creative energy. Sometimes I even add maple syrup and brown sugar. Or, yes, apples and cinnamon.
In fact, all four flavors work remarkably well together, even when oatmeal's not on the menu.
Why on earth didn't I realize this before?
Recipe for Apple Cinnamon Pancakes with Maple and Brown Sugar
Reminiscent of classic oatmeal flavor combinations, these pancakes are filled with oats, fresh grated apples, cinnamon, and a touch of brown sugar. Serve them with maple syrup and you'll achieve breakfast nirvana: a single foodstuff with all the flavors you crave in a remarkably healthy, yet completely satisfying, package. Without, of course, any packaging whatsoever.
Makes 16 pancakes
1 cup rolled oats (quick or old-fashioned)
2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1-3/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 granny smith apple, cored and grated (leave the peel on)
Real maple syrup, for serving
Whisk together the first 7 ingredients (oats through cinnamon) in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and canola oil.
Wrap the grated apple in 2 layers of paper towels and squeeze it over the bowl with the eggs so the apple juice runs directly into the egg mixture. Give the egg mixture a final whisk.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk gently until blended. Fold in the grated apple. Let batter sit for 5 minutes while your griddle heats over medium-high.
Scoop 1/4 cup batter onto greased griddle and cook pancakes 2 to 2-1/2 minutes, or until the underside is nicely browned. Flip and cook the reverse side 30 to 45 seconds longer.
Serve hot with maple syrup.